Oil / gas distribution

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Is it possible to track the path of the gas that I put into my truck? 


I buy my gas from XYZ gas station. (point A)

Where does that station get the gas from? (point B)

Where point B get its gas?


I have always wondered about this and would appreciate any input.




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It's a good question.

Customers are increasingly asking for product traceability. They want to know the origin of the meat they eat, the shoes they wear and soon they could also ask an increased traceability from the energy they use.

I think the oil and gas industry will have to follow the other industries and increase the transparency and traceability of the supply chain.

The blood diamonds issue forced the diamond mining industry to increase the traceability of their products through the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. The oil and gas industry could one day follow a similar path.

Technically it's possible to trace the origin of oil products using  chemical markers that bind to fuel molecules. This process of "molecular fuel marking," identifies fuels and determines whether they've been adulterated.

One day you could see your gas station showing not only the price of the gas but also the origin.

Molecular marking is also a way to fight oil smuggling or oil theft and could gain popularity with the current trend of sanctions.


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In the nuclear world it's possible to trace radioactive materials back to their original reactors by their isotopes. Wouldn't surprise me if a fuel from different refineries and even area they were sourced could be tracked by trace molecules and even isotopes.

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Swiss company SICPA, which specializes in identification, traceability and authentication technologies geared toward various industries, has commercialized a molecular marking system designed to detect adulterated fuels as well as crude oils.


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